My mum has just recieved CC diagnosis and I wanted to see if anyone could answer some questions for me.
I have so many questions but no one seems to have a straight answer for me. As im not going through this myself im recieveing second hand information. I have been unable to attend most of my mums appointments but my sister has. However when I ask how it went she says she doesn't want to talk about it. My sister is single and lives on her own working part time so she has the chance to attend appointments. I have 3 young children I work and im in the middle of a part time degree so although I want to attend as many as I can I just cant get to them all.
In my rambling, my question is, why would an early stage CC not be operated on? Shes having chemotherapy 5 times per week for the next 6 weeks starting on Monday which my sister will be going with her to and I know I will be fobbed off again with the "I dont want to talk about it" line. My mum has learning difficulties and doesnt understand all the technical terms to relay them to me. I just feel like no one is telling me anything and im stuck in the dark. If anyone has experienced not having any sort of op in the early stages can someone reasure me that this is normal. I thought operating would be the first thing to do!
Hi PolarBear and welcome to our group
Gosh, you’ve been put in a really difficult situation here, and I do feel for you being in the dark without all the information you need. Early stages of cervical cancer are normally treated by surgery. Sometimes very early stage tiny cancers are discovered when a LLETZ procedure is done to treat abnormal cervical cells, and the removed tissue is analysed by pathology. With a tiny cancer it can all be removed before the patient even knows there was cancer.
For stage 1 cancer, then a hysterectomy can be the first option, but for higher stages surgeries is not normally an option due to the risk of spreading the cancer.
You haven’t mentioned radiotherapy so I wondered if you meant that when you mentioned treatment 5 days a week? Normally radiotherapy is carried out on weekdays over a 5 week period or thereabouts, supported by a once a week session of low dose chemotherapy drug called Cisplatin which is designed to increase the effectiveness of the radiotherapy. This is the treatment many of us in the group have gone through, and is a standard treatment in cervical cancer.
Sometimes different chemotherapy treatments are used, but I have never heard of chemotherapy happening on a daily basis at any stage of this cancer. The chemo is normally done in cycles with breaks in between if it is being used as a stand alone treatment.
I think you might need to try again to have your sister share information with you, as what you have been told sounds a little strange and needs further explanation. Surgery would usually be the first choice to treat an early stage cervical cancer to offer the best chance of success and chemoradiation, or chemo on its own would be the standard treatment of a cancer at stages higher than stage 1.
It’s not easy to cope with things when you are not included in full discussions about treatment but if your sister will not share with you it is possible for you to discuss things directly with medical professionals IF you have your mum’s permission to do this. They will not be able to tell you anything without your mum’s permission.
I would suggest that you need to find out the stage of cancer, the type of cervical cancer, and whether there is any lymphnode involvement established (which would automatically increase the staging).
I hope you can find out more, because I’m sure it would put your mind at rest and it would also allow you to be more involved in the whole process.
Please do feel free to ask any questions here in the group as you think of them, and we will try to help based on our own experiences. You are very welcome to be with us, and I hope you know more soon.
I would expect that the stage is not so early if they cannot perform hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is offered up to 2a stage and sometime if they suspect microscopic cancer is present might suggest following hysterectomy the chemo radiation treatment regime. I diagnosed with 2b stage and I had the chemo radiation and brachytherapy treatment only. If the cancer is not confined within cervix then the success rate of treatment is higher with only chemo radiation and without hysterectomy. It is better not to disturb the cancer by removing a portion of it might trigger the cancer to spread faster
I hope all the best with your mother.
I’m pleased you’re going to be able to attend an appointment and I hope it will give you some clarity and reassurance about treatment going forward. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on.